About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Life is Like a Bad Dream

I tried going to Silver Sneakers, our exercise class at the Senior Center, but it is difficult to go without Linda.  Also, I need the time for her or for myself when I am not with her.

On November 4th, Linda, my sister, and me went out to lunch.  Linda was having trouble with her balance, but if she walked slowly, she could do it.  A little over a week later, everything was different. We had a nice visit, although she could no longer be trusted to walk on her own.  It was good.  We held each other and cried.  Said we would always be friends.  The next day some of her grandkids came to visit, and that, too, was an eye opener for them.  Still, it was a nice visit, and the kids were glad to see Grandma, and she, them.

 She had fallen twice, the last time ending up with her in the hospital.  She had just gone limp in her husband's arms, and he called the ambulance.  That was in the wee hours of
November 15th.  Her husband called me that morning.  She stayed in the hospital until that Friday and began her radiation treatments.

On Friday she was moved to a group home.  On Kevin's days off, he is with her from about 9:30 till bedtime.  I have been there most days.  She always has a friend or relative accompanying her in the van to radiation near the hospital.  We stay until after she has eaten lunch.
She no longer goes on her phone or laptop.  Mostly she just rests.

The goal for Linda is to stay strong enough to be able to go home on Christmas Day.

My Thanksgiving was a lot of work, and hardly seems worth it for the few of us.  I did have my nephew, Linda's stepson, here for the meal.

I do not feel like crafting, like making cards, like socializing.  I want to crawl in bed and have this all be over with.   It is like a really bad dream from which we cannot wake up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hard for Me to Blog

I don't feel like uploading photos.
 
I am so tired.
 
My best friend, Linda, is in the hospital.  In one week's time, she lost her ability to walk on her own and has difficulty speaking.  I saw her Saturday (and Sunday) and I was in shock.  I can't tell you how many tears I cried.
 
We each forgave one another for the hurts we caused ..  Said that is behind us.  We held each other, cried and promised we would always be friends.
 
This last week, Linda fell out of bed, then Monday night had a horrible episode where she went limp, passed out, and possible seizure.  Her husband called the ambulance.  She went to ER and was admitted to the hospital.  I spent most of the day there.
 
Today she is starting radiation.  Hopefully it can reverse some of the damage to her brain, buy her more time to be spent with her loved ones.  She is fighting this for her grandkids.
 
Much has happened since my last blog.  I went on a scrapbooking retreat with my cousin as she was visiting me from Florida.  Everything seems like small potatoes now.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

And That's All that's New!

 
This was just another week in my life. 
 
On Monday, I ran some errands.  I had to pick up plastic rolls of table cloth and napkins for our church's Golden Anniversary.  When I dropped them off at church, I had a brief interview with the paper for the article they were doing on the event.  You can read about it here:  Shepherding the Flock for 50 Years.  I have a small blip in there.
 
 I am really enjoying my Tuesday morning Bible Study with the ladies!  In the afternoon, I had an appointment with our local gastroenterologist.  He wants me off of the pain pills and we are going to try a medication that blocks the neurotransmitters.  I'm not quite sure how it works, but if it helps, hey!
 
Wednesday was a busy day for my husband and me.  I decided that before my cousin visits, I am going to get this house fairly cleaned.  I cleaned the bedroom GOOD and removed the five layers of protective dust.  My husband put on his knee pads and refinished all our vinyl  flooring in the kitchen, dining room, and halls.
 
Thursday morning I volunteered at the senior center.  It wasn't as busy as it has been lately.  Okay with me!  In the afternoon I met my brother Stan and his wife at his urologist appointment.  I wanted to know what exactly is wrong with him.  He has lost so much weight; he is skin and bones.  He had no appetite, can't sleep, and was also experiencing urological symptoms.  Apparently, his last bout with cancer and radiation damaged his bladder and created a lot of scar tissue too.  The bladder has shrunk and cannot be stretched as the tissue has hardened from the radiation.  He has to get up all the time to void and had little to pass.  My brother also wasn't drinking enough liquids as the doctor had advised him to.    The physician explained it like this:  A car needs oil to run properly.  Water is our oil.  If my brother would drink more liquids (anything decaffeinated), he would not be so constipated, would have more energy, a better appetite, and when he goes to pee, he will have something to pee!  After the first day of drinking more fluids, Stan said at least when he went to the bathroom, he had something to go.  The doctor said this will take weeks and also prescribed him a different medication for it.
1980 - Stan walked me down the aisle.
 
2015 - Cousin Shirley, Stan, myself, and sister, Connie.
 















On Friday we went to one of our last remaining aunt's funeral. When we left home it was sunny and comfortable outside, but when we got to the country, it had dropped about ten degrees and was so windy. (Auntie Em, Auntie Em!)   My aunt had one daughter and one son, both married, both without children.  It was a small funeral, and other than my cousin's son who is in his 40's, I was the baby of the bunch! 

The country church is over 100 years old and is small but oh so ornate and beautiful!  I took a couple of pictures for ideas for our church.

  We stopped where my mom is buried for a brief time.  It was still quite windy.  We then went to the  funeral luncheon at a nearby supper club.  It was nice visiting with our cousins, but a heck of a way to have a family reunion!

Today, Saturday, I have to go to church to help set up for anniversary dinner.  It is also Apple Fest in Two Rivers.  I would like to go briefly, but we'll see.  I wanted Jim to go with me, but he has a hard route this weekend at work.

....and that's all that's new!
 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

No Place to Rest!

 
 
I'm sorry I haven't posted lately.  Last weekend I went on retreat with my bff.
It was a three hour drive (but of course, we stopped for lunch).  As usual, I woke up way too early that day and also didn't get a nap because of the drive.  My friend had a very bad cough (on top of her cancer), and was trying to rest.  She was chilled, so I thought I will let her rest.  I went to check us in at registration, and they gave me my own room, so we both would get some rest.  Some friends I had made last year helped move my stuff down the hall. 
 
That night I did not get a good night's sleep.  I didn't know if it was my interstitial cystitis or what, but I got up at least five times to go to the bathroom which is down the hall.  Not a good start!  Again, I woke up way too early.  We are eating breakfast by 8am and getting on with the day's activities which include Bible Study, worship, crafts, etc.  The study was about visual faith, and Bible journaling....how even when we highlight our Bible, we are making it visual.  We might make notes in the margins, date it, or get more elaborate and draw a picture of what the verse means to us.
 
Psalm 121
Add caption
 Well, I did these quite a while ago.  I was busy with our church scrapbook, and didn't realize that I don't have to be elaborate to do my Bible journaling!
 
Anyway, I regress.  I was having a very emotional, weepy time of it.  I really think I was overtired, but it was also the retreat center itself. I kept thinking of times when my friend and I were both more vibrant and energetic, without all our medical problems.  Different people reached out to her, and different people reached out to me.  We really weren't there for each other, but that's okay.  Sometimes you have to let other people into your life. 
 
We had a craft that was just totally frustrating for me and I never finished it.  Next, I went horseback riding.
 

Nervous.

It was not a good experience.  The horse kept taking me up against the trees, and when we got back, I had difficulty dismounting.   The horse decided it had enough of me!  (No one was hurt in the process, although I still have a bruise.

Then, I bumped my head on the top bunk.  Rough day.  Weepy.  We did a study on The Lord's Prayer with stations for different parts of it.  I tried to do most of it, but finished it in my room.  I just needed solitude.  I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes I need alone time!  I finished the study, got ready for bed, played on my Kindle, read and had a GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP!

Sunday morning I felt like my old self again! 


 
Newer friends

 
Old friends.

We drove home in the rain, but God was good and kept me safe.  It even quit raining before I got to the busy part of the freeway!

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Always good to be home.  The bladder issue got worse and for now I am on antibiotics.  The abdominal pain is at times, just awful.  I will find out on Monday if I need further treatment for IC and on Tuesday will see another gastroenterologist for my abdominal pain.
 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Log in My Eye

Venting Part 2
 
Well, the person who I felt criticized by read my blog, and it just got worse from there!
 
Never argue by text or try to resolve an issue!  The texting just went on and on, until it did get worse!
 
I read this chapter this morning:
Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye
 
We all have our imperfections.  We all have our own logs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Needing to Vent
 
Old insecurities are difficult to get past.  Growing up, I was
too skinny, cross-eyed, "bug eyed," and wore glasses.  My hair
wasn't as pretty as others, my clothes were not as nice. I envied others.
Others whose fathers didn't drink or quit their jobs, others whose mothers didn't have to work.
 
My mom was very reserved with her emotions.  She was used to hiding her feelings
and protecting us.  But, she was also like her mother, in that she didn't display that much affection
or give praise.  Any praise given, was followed with a "but," or someone else did or had something better. 
 
Fast forward to today.  I am super sensitive, always have been.  It hurts, when someone tells me
they don't like something about me, or "why don't I wear .....(fill in the blank),"  I am "too negative,"
I think wrong, and I could go on and on.
 
I can only be the person that God designed me to be, and not who someone else thinks I should be.
 
Please accept me the way that I am.  I don't need your criticism, just your love.
 


Saturday, September 10, 2016

So Much Busy-ness!

I have been doing things other than retreating within myself the past few weeks. 
 
I went to a one day crop on August 27th.  These are from 9-9 and surprisingly, I get a lot done!
I didn't take photos of my scrapbook layouts, but did of this card:
 

 
I like the idea of using fun foam with a peel off sticker on my Cricut to cut out the image for the shaker card, then do the same with card stock for the top.
A simple card I made for a friend who was recently
diagnosed with cancer to let her know I am praying for her.
Modeling my paper flowers in my hair. 
It was a challenge to create something with our paper flowers, so I made a hair pin.  The Crop had a Hawaiin
theme, can't you tell?

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On Sunday I went to the county fair with my sister.  I really don't see anyone that I know, well, maybe a few gals.  I danced in the "old rock" pavilion with the other old ladies.  At first, I was hesitant, but thought, what the heck, they are all older than me or my age, so what!

My sister and I both bought a Lu La Roe legging and top outfit.  Lu La Roe is the latest rage in leggings and home based business, and NO, I am not going to sign up!

My sister wore hers on our Red Hat trip.

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On Monday I got my hair cut even shorter!   I got sick of using the curling iron.

 
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On Wednesday, August 31st, my sister and I joined other Red Hatters on
a trip to Rawhide Boy's Ranch.  It was founded in the 60's to provide a faith based
home for delinquent boys, providing them with life skills and love.
 
We were provided a HUGE buffet lunch.  You know, teenage boys
like to eat!
I forget how many acres of land are on this ranch, but it is virtually impossible for a boy to
run away.  The boys live within a family structure with a married couple and no more than eight total people in a house. There is equine therapy, a school, chapel, and they learn how to
repair and restore old cars and boats that are donated and then auctioned off.
This is the door to the Bart Starr Museum there.  Bart Starr is a famous quarterback
for the Green Bay Packers and has supported this organization from the beginning,
offering it creditability and opportunity for large donations.
Aren't my sister and I just lovely?...LOL!  She is wearing her leggings
with all the important parts covered!

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On Thursday morning I worked the desk at the Senior Center.  Saturday was my husband's birthday so I baked a cake.  We went out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  I like that place, but our family has a rule.  NEVER LET ANYONE KNOW IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!  None of us wants the embarrassing ""Happy Birthday" song!

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On Sunday, I joined my bff and family for Kite Fest.  You can read about it on her blog.
Linda Loves Chocolate

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On Wednesday, September 7th, I had to work the desk again at the Senior Center.  We were really busy that morning and the morning went fast!

In the afternoon, I had a church committee meeting to plan the grand finale for our church's golden anniversary.

I was the only one signed up for the evening stamp class, so the consultant came over to my house.
I got a head start on my Christmas cards, thanks to a kit from last year's Stampin Up.



 
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ONE MORE THING
 
I saw the nephrologist and my kidney disease is a stable Stage IV.  No worse, and a bit better.
I also know someone else who has this and has the chronic fatigue.  Guess I just have to live with it.
 
Prayers always appreciated for the chronic abdominal pain I have been experiencing this week, along with urinary discomfort from IC.  These are issues I just have to learn to accept and live with and make the best of life, no matter what.  I have learned that very well from my friend, who has terminal cancer.  Bless her.